The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Re: Ideal tonearm length ?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:50 am 
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Victor I
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:31 pm
Posts: 126
Yes, sorry, I thought a simple question would elicit a simple answer. I was wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal tonearm length ?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:02 pm 
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Victor I
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:31 pm
Posts: 126
gramophoneshane wrote:
have arms 7", 8" and 8.5" in length, so which is more likely to give better tracking?


I did not want to prejudice the conversation by revealing that I already had tonearms of a certain length and I'm glad I didn't because I got my answer in the end and it wasn't 7, 8 or 8.5 inches. I have based on Jamie's information settled on 11 inches.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal tonearm length ?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:51 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:08 pm
Posts: 2424
Location: Harrison Township, MI
Daithi wrote:
gramophoneshane wrote:
have arms 7", 8" and 8.5" in length, so which is more likely to give better tracking?


I did not want to prejudice the conversation by revealing that I already had tonearms of a certain length and I'm glad I didn't because I got my answer in the end and it wasn't 7, 8 or 8.5 inches. I have based on Jamie's information settled on 11 inches.



Well, who wouldn't...


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal tonearm length ?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:13 pm 
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Victor I
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:31 pm
Posts: 126
JerryVan wrote:
Well, who wouldn't...


I don't understand Jerry, who wouldn't what ?


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal tonearm length ?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:54 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:21 pm
Posts: 2578
:lol: I wasn't aware 11" was an option but apparently bigger is better so you might even find further down the track you can stretch it out to 12" and see if longer is actually better.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal tonearm length ?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:14 pm 
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Victor I
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:31 pm
Posts: 126
gramophoneshane wrote:
:lol: I wasn't aware 11" was an option but apparently bigger is better so you might even find further down the track you can stretch it out to 12" and see if longer is actually better.


I already know that longer is better in theory. Any length is an option but because of diminishing returns and limitations due to space and mass considerations at the long end and the difficulties of reducing tracking error at the short end, I am looking for something between those extremes. I settled on 11 inches because its a prime number and in the middle of the range identified as being practicable by Jamie. I have also read on this forum that 11 inches is the length of one of the EMG machine tonearms and by all accounts those guys knew what they were doing. I believe I have enough room in the case for both a 12 inch turntable and an 11 inch tonearm. So until practical considerations kick in I will be taking 11 inch as a starting point. I plan to modify an existing tonearm to start with as a quick and dirty method of achieving a result and so I can test these thoughts, and if that works out I hope to have a tonearm made from scratch. Making tonearms isn't rocket surgery. Its just plumbing. Any good muffler guy should be able to weld one up. Raising the money and finding the time for all this messing around is a bigger problem than actually manufacturing it. I also see no reason why a tonearm cannot be made of wood and be perfectly servicable.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal tonearm length ?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:54 pm 
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Victor IV
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 1612
Location: South Carolina
Daihti, regarding wooden tonearms, there were some old Sonora phonographs that use them and they are quite interesting. You might also want to look at the Pathé Actuelle & the Vitaphone.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal tonearm length ?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:23 am 
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Victor V
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:21 pm
Posts: 2578
I think a couple German companies also manufactured wooden tonearms, and I'm pretty sure I once saw some in a catalogue by Paillards of Switzerland. I wouldn't be surprised if Paillards made the Sonora arms like the rest of Sonora's components.
I think the problem with wooden tonearms as a whole was that they could never get airtight seals around pivots and joints.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal tonearm length ?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:34 am 
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Victor I
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:31 pm
Posts: 126
VanEpsFan1914 wrote:
Daihti, regarding wooden tonearms, there were some old Sonora phonographs that use them and they are quite interesting. You might also want to look at the Pathé Actuelle & the Vitaphone.


Thanks Van. I have googled and googled and I just can't find a single picture. All I get in wood is pictures of modern electric tonearms in wood.
Google ain't what it used to be or my search skills are lacking.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal tonearm length ?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:42 am 
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Victor I
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:31 pm
Posts: 126
gramophoneshane wrote:
I think the problem with wooden tonearms as a whole was that they could never get airtight seals around pivots and joints.


Wood can be used for the plain tube sections and the pivots and joints can be made from metal set into that wood. The best of both worlds may be a hybrid.


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